Behavioral And Psychosocial Issues
ADHD and Your School-aged Child
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. All children have behavior problems at times. Children with ADHD have frequent, severe problems that interfere with their ability to live normal lives.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Alcohol is the most abused drug among preteens and teens, and nearly 80% of high school seniors have reported using alcohol. Any intoxication can be lethal, so talk to your child about the risks associated with alcohol abuse.
Alcohol: Your Child and Drugs
One of the most abused drugs in our society is alcohol. It's also a drug that many people start using at very young ages. Though it's illegal for people younger than 21 years to drink, many children are introduced to alcohol well before they reach that age. The earlier they begin using alcohol, the higher the risk they will have problems with it later in life. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand the dangers of alcohol and how to prevent alcohol use. Eighteen percent of 8th graders and more than 37% of 10th graders have been drunk at least once.
Most children are toilet trained between 2 and 4 years of age. Many children at this age are able to stay dry during the day, but may not be able to stay dry at night until they are older. Between 15% and 30% of 6-year-olds have one episode of bedwetting (also known as enuresis) per month, and as many as 4% or more of 12-year-olds are still wetting their beds some of the time. Like so many things in pediatrics, bedwetting and the issues associated with it have their own developmental time line. Read on to find out more about bedwetting and what can be done about it.
Bipolar and Mood Disorders
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Nearly 1 in every 100 kids suffers from bipolar disorder and may suffer extreme mood swings. In kids these swings can happen much more rapidly. If your child is diagnosed be sure to contact your pediatrician for advice on treatment.
CONNECTED KIDS: Bullying is when one child picks on another child again and again. Usually children who are being bullied are either weaker or smaller, are shy, and generally feel helpless. Bullying most commonly takes place at school, when adults are not watching, or through email or instant messages. Whether your child is the one being bullied, doing the bullying, or simply a bystander, there are a number of measures you can take as a parent to improve their social skills and decrease their involvement in this detrimental practice.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: If you discover your child is being bullied, teach your child to remain calm and to have the courage to walk away from a fight. Talk to a teacher about the bully, and encourage your child to develop strong friendships. Children with loyal friends are less likely to be bullied.
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of children is more common than most people think. About 1 out of 5 girls
and 1 out of 10 boys will be sexually abused during their childhood. Parents can
take steps to help prevent and recognize sexual abuse in children. Sexual abuse is when a person (adult or child) takes advantage
of a child in a sexual way. In most cases, the abuser is someone the child knows. An abuser may use force, bribes, threats, or tricks to trap a child and to keep a child from telling
Choosing Quality Child Care: What's Best for Your Family?
Finding high-quality child care is very important, but not always easy. Your choice will play a key role in your child's health and development.
The following information may help you in your search for the child care options that are best for your family. Center-based care has many names—child care center, preschool, nursery school, child development program, or learning center. Center-based care also may have different sponsors, including churches, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, social service agencies, Head Start, independent owners and businesses, and employers.
Cocaine: What You Need to Know
Young people are surrounded by pro-drug messages in the media and on the Internet. They may try cocaine for the excitement or the experience without realizing the very real risks and consequences that come with cocaine use. As a parent, you are your child's first and best protection against drug use. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about cocaine and how to help your child say "No" to drug use. (
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: A cyberbully is a child that uses the internet to broadcast hateful comments about another child. Monitor your child's internet use to prevent them from being bullied or from doing the bullying. There are no federal laws against cyberbullying, but your state may have such laws.
Dealing with Toddler Aggression
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Aggressive behavior in toddlers is a normal response to frustration that should be handled with reinforcements for positive behavior, opportunities for physical play, and age-appropriate punishments.
Deciding to Wait
No matter what you've heard, read, or seen, Being physically attracted to another person and trying to figure out how to deal with these feelings is perfectly normal. Kissing and hugging are often accompanied by
Depression in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: 1 out of every 5 children are diagnosed with a mental disorder. Signs of depression may include trouble sleeping, headaches or consistant sadness. Encourage your children to take part in after school activities to give them something to look forward to and to give them an opportunity to make new friends.
Discipline and Your Child
As a parent, one of your jobs is to teach your child how to behave. While this can take time, try not to get frustrated when your child does not behave. Instead, learn effective ways to discipline your child. The following is guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to discipline your child. Many parents think discipline and punishment are the same thing, but they are really quite different.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: One effective way to discipline your child from ages 2 to 3 may be extinction, meaning that the parent ignores the child's bad behavior. This way the child will understand that bad behavior is ineffective at allowing them to get their way. Also, be sure to react positively any time your child practices good behavior.
Divorce and Children
Every year, more than 1 million children in the United States experience the divorce of their parents. Because the average divorce takes place within the first 7 years of marriage, many of these children are very young. For many children, divorce can be as difficult as the death of a parent. Children need
the guidance, patience, and love of both parents to help them through. How much a divorce will affect your child's life depends largely on how you and your spouse treat each other before, during, and after the divorce. Parents must work together to make the transition as easy as possible. Even though the marriage ends, your role as a parent continues. Set aside your differences and
Drug Abuse Prevention Starts with Parents
CONNECTED KIDS: As a parent, you have a major impact on your child's decision whether or not to use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. Be sure to encourage your child to make healthy choices and friendships and to always set a positive example through your own actions. Good communication between you and your child is a great way to prevent drug abuse, but if talking with your child becomes a problem, ask your pediatrician for help.
Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
But for people with an eating disorder, it brings about very different feelings. They become
Environmental Management of ADHD
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Children with ADHD suffer from an inability to remain focused; therefore small distractions at home and at school can cause extreme problems. Parents can ease this problem by cutting down on the number of distractions in the home. This can happen through the establishment of a daily schedule, the organization of household items, and the use of charts and checklists. More tips and ideas on how to improve the conditions of your child's environment can be provided by your pediatrician.
Everybody Gets Mad
CONNECTED KIDS: Everyone gets mad, and often when children become angry, their bodies react. Teach your child to remain calm, to place their feelings into words, and to listen to what the other person has to say. Let them know it takes more courage to walk away from a fight than it does to stay and fight physically.
CONNECTED KIDS: Learning to maintain healthy relationships is extremely important for teens that have begun to date. Teens in relationships should respect each other, handle disagreements calmly and peacefully, and should maintain other friendships and interests. There is never a reasonable excuse for verbal or physical abuse. If talking to an abusive partner is not helpful, talk with friends or a trusted adult and figure out how to end the relationship safely.
Feeding Kids Right Isn't Always Easy: Tips for Preventing Food Hassles
Happy encounters with food at any age help set the stage for sensible eating habits throughout life. When adults provide and promote nutritious foods in a calm and positive setting, children will be more willing to make healthy food choices. The following are 8 important mealtime tips to keep in mind:
For Today's Teens: A Message From Your Pediatrician
Beginning when you are about 11 or 12 years old, your pediatrician might suggest that you spend some time alone with him or her during your health care visits. Why? While it's always important to talk with parents about some personal things in your life, it can be really hard. But you can always ask your pediatrician about personal stuff. They've heard it all! Plus, your pediatrician cares about your health and wants to help you in any way.
Gambling: Not a Safe Thrill
Many Americans gamble for fun. However, for
young people, gambling may become a serious addiction. The chances of a young
gambler getting "hooked" are far greater than those of an adult.
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Facts for Teens and Their Parents
If you've ever wondered if you're gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you're not alone. Many teens ask themselves this question. It is a normal part of life. Maybe you've been attracted to someone of the same gender or you may have even kissed or had other sexual contact with someone of the same sex. But sexual behavior is not always the same as sexual orientation. Sexual orientation develops as you grow and experience new things. It may take time to figure it all out.
Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Parents: Information for Children and Parents
Millions of children have one or more gay and/or lesbian parents. For some children, having a gay or lesbian parent is not a big deal. Others may find it hard to have a family that is different from most families. Being different in any way can be confusing, frustrating, and even scary. But what really matters is that children can talk to their parents about how they feel and that there is love and support in the family. The following are answers to some common questions from children (first part) and parents (second part). If you know someone who has a lesbian or gay parent (or two parents), you might be interested in reading this too.
Health Care for College Students: What Your Pediatrician Wants You to Know
College is filled with many opportunities to learn and experience life. You'll be
responsible for making your own choices, including Even though you're in college your
Healthy Communication With Your Child
Healthy communication with your child is one of the most important and rewarding skills that you can develop as a parent. It also makes the tough parts of parenting (such as disciplining your child) much easier and more effective. Good communication is a two-way street, meaning that listening to your child is just as important as talking to him. When you talk in a calm and caring manner, you let your child know what you expect of him and give him information that he needs. You also show him that when you ask him to calm down and control his temper, you are practicing what you preach.
Help Stop Teenage Suicide
CONNECTED KIDS: Suicide is one of the 3 leading causes of death for 13- to 19-year-olds in the United States. Suicide attempts are often triggered by some small, everyday event, such as receiving a bad grade or getting in an argument. Severe changes in behavior, confusion about personal identity, or the use of drugs or alcohol may be warning signs that your teen may be depressed or considering suicide. Talk to your teen, and be sure to listen and be understanding. If you are unsure about what to do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255).
Helping Your Child Cope With Death
By school age, children understand that death is an irreversible event. Yet even though youngsters recognize that death is something more than going to sleep for a long time, they still may have many unanswered questions that they may not verbalize: Where did grandmother go when she died? What is she feeling? Is she in pain? Why did she die? Can we ever see her again? Are you going to die too? Who will take care of me if you die? Offer opportunities for your child to ask these questions. The more clearly and honestly you answer them, the better he will fare through the grieving process.
Helping Your Child Cope With Life
Every parent's dream is to raise perfect children who have no worries and lead charmed, happy lives free of pain and hurt. We dream that we can keep our children safe from loss, heartache, and danger. But even if we could, would it really help them? If we want our children to experience the world as fully as possible—with all its pain and thankfully, with all its joy—our goal will have to be
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Inhalant abuse is when children inhale chemicals to get high (huffing). These chemicals can often be found around the house in commonly used products, such as spray paint. Inhalant abuse can be lethal, so warn your child about the dangers of inhalant abuse.
Inhalants: What You Need to Know
Young people today can face strong peer pressure to try drugs, including a group of substances called Inhalants have the special risk of being deadly any time they are used—even the first time.
Kids and Stress
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Kids can suffer from stress and many handle it in different ways. At times there may be physical repercussions from a child suffering from stress, such as shortness of breath. Talk to your pediatrician and always try to provide a loving and supportive environment.
Know the Facts About HIV and AIDS
HIV HIV is a virus that causes damage to the body's immune system. The immune system is the body's way of fighting infections. When the immune system does not work well, the body cannot fight off many serious illnesses.
Learning Disabilities: What Parents Need to Know
Your child will learn many things in life—how to listen, speak, read, write, and do
math. Some skills may be harder to learn than others. If your child is trying
his best to learn certain skills but is not able to keep up with his peers,
it's important to find out why. There can be many reasons. If your child has a
learning disability (also known as an LD),
the sooner you know, the sooner you can get your child help. Your child
can learn how to succeed in school, work, and relationships.
Making Healthy Decisions About Sex
Are you thinking about having sex? Is anyone trying to talk you into having sex? Does it seem like all your friends are having sex? Before you make any decisions, or even if you already have had sex but are unsure if you should again, read on for some important information about how to stay healthy. (And remember, if anyone has ever forced you to have sex, this is WRONG and not your fault! Tell someone you trust as soon as possible.)
Marijuana: What You Need to Know
Many people today learn about drugs while they are very young and might be tempted to try them. Teens say that marijuana is easy to get, and it tends to be the first illegal drug they try. Marijuana use is often portrayed as harmless, but the truth is that marijuana is an addictive drug that can cause serious risks and consequences. As a parent, you are your child's first and best protection against drug use. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about marijuana and how to help your child say "No" to drug use. (
Please check one answer for each question. If the question does not apply to your family (ie, you do not own a VCR, video game player, or computer), leave that section blank. Child's Name __________
Medicine and the Media
Your child is sick or hurt and the first thought on your mind is, “How can I make my child better?” That's natural. No parent wants his or her child to suffer. So how do you decide what medicines to give or treatments to try? Aside from your pediatrician, what sources can you trust? Commercials and magazine ads claim products help and heal. Web sites claim to have “cutting-edge” health information. TV programs and newspapers report on the “latest” studies showing which treatments work and don't work.
Puberty—Ready or Not Expect Some Big Changes
Compared to your friends you may feel too tall, too short, too fat, or too skinny. You may feel self-conscious about these changes, but many of your friends probably do too.
Ratings Game, The
Even before reaching middle school age, your child will spend tens of thousands of hours watching television, movies, and videos; listening to the radio, CDs, and cassettes; playing video and computer games; and surfing the Internet. But TV, movies, music, games, and the Internet are much more than entertainment. They are a source of information, and they help teach our children about the world in which we live. As children have more and more entertainment options to choose from, it becomes even more important for parents to become involved in making choices. To help parents make informed choices, many entertainment companies are now using
Responding to Children's Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis: Information for Parents
Pediatricians are often the first responders for children and families suffering emotional and psychological reactions to terrorism and other disasters.
As such, pediatricians have a unique opportunity to help parents and other caregivers communicate with children in ways that allow them to better understand and recover from traumatic events such as terrorist attacks or other disasters. Pediatricians also can help to facilitate timely referral to mental health services, as appropriate, for these children and their families. Important tips for parents and other caregivers include:
Risks of Tobacco Use, The
Many people think that the only people harmed by tobacco use are smokers who have smoked for a long time. The fact is that tobacco use can be harmful to If you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or use smokeless tobacco like chew and snuff, quit! It's the best thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you.
Almost 80% of children grow up with at least one brother or sister. Brothers and sisters teach each other how to get along with others. Even if they do not always get along with each other, siblings play very positive roles in each other's lives. Read on to learn more about how siblings get along the way they do and how you can help them learn to live together in peace.
Single-parent families are more and more
common in today's society. While raising children alone isn't easy, children in
single- parent homes can grow up just as happy as children in 2-parent homes. Read on
to find out how single parents can better cope with the special challenges of raising children on their own. Single parenthood can bring added pressure and stress to the job of
raising children. With no one to share day-to-day responsibilities or
decision-making, single parents must provide greater support for their children
while they themselves may feel alone. The following suggestions may help reduce
stress in your family:
Sleep Problems in Children
Sleep problems are very common during the first few years of life. Problems may include waking up during the night, not wanting to go to sleep, nightmares, sleepwalking, and bedwetting. All children differ in how much sleep they need, how long it takes them to fall asleep, and how easily they wake up. Parents can help their children develop good sleep habits, even at an early age. Read on to find out how. Babies do not have regular sleep cycles until about 6 months of age. While newborns sleep about 16 to 17 hours per day, they may only sleep 1 or 2 hours at a time. As babies get older, they need less sleep. However, different babies have different sleep needs. It is normal for a 6-month-old to wake up during the night but go back to sleep after a few minutes.
Smokeless Tobacco: What You Need to Know
Chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, and dissolvable tobacco in the shape of sticks, pellets, and strips are all types of tobacco products that are not smoked but used in other ways. All types of smokeless tobacco contain nicotine and chemicals known to cause cancer (carcinogens). Chewing tobacco comes in 3 forms: loose leaves, plugs, and twists or rolls of tobacco. A piece (plug, wad, or chew) of tobacco is placed between the cheek and gum. Users chew on it for several hours and spit out the tobacco juices and saliva as they build up.
Staying Cool When Things Heat Up
CONNECTED KIDS: Everyone gets angry, but fighting is not the way to deal with this emotion. You can prevent a fight by remembering to treat everyone with respect and to attempt to talk out the problem. If talking does not resolve the issue, walk away. Choosing not to fight takes courage and is a sign of self-respect and maturity. Even if you are a bystander to a potential fight, there are many ways you can help to keep the peace.
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Stealing can be common between the ages of 6 and 12, and often results from low self-esteem and an attempt to show off to their peers. If your child steals don't ridicule them, simply explain that stealing is wrong and discuss the feelings that led them to steal in order to prevent repeated behavior.
Steroids: Play Safe, Play Fair
to The best athletes rely on practice and hard
work to help them do their best.
How about you? Ever tempted to use steroids? Well, keep this in mind—not only is it illegal, dishonest, and unfair, but you will be putting your health at risk!
Stressed? Read This.
Even though stress makes us feel uncomfortable, it's not always a bad thing. Sometimes stress can really help us deal with tough situations. A lot of stress changes our bodies quickly and helps us react to an emergency. A little stress keeps us alert and helps us work harder. Stress is the
Substance Abuse Prevention
The use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs is one of the biggest temptations facing young people today. As a parent, you are your child's best protection against drug use. You can start by telling your children that you expect them not to use drugs and become informed yourself about drug use. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you identify the warning signs of drug use and provides tips on how to help your child (especially during the preteen and teen years) say no to drugs. Both casual drug use and addiction impact health, but it is important for parents to know the difference. The same pattern of use and abuse exists for alcohol as with other drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine. The following is how experts explain the stages of alcohol or drug use:
Talking With Your Teen
CONNECTED KIDS: While your teenager is no longer a child, he or she is not quite an adult. As your teenager becomes more and more independent, be sure to continue to practice good communication with them. Talking to your teen is one of the most important things you can do to help keep them safe. However, if your teen does not want to talk to you, consider helping them find another responsible adult in whom to confide.
Talking With Your Teen About Sex
Children are exposed to sexual messages every day—on TV, on the Internet, in movies, in magazines, and in music. Sex in the media is so common that you might think that teens today already know all they need to about sex. They may even claim to know it all, so sex is something you just don't talk about. Unfortunately, only a small amount of what is seen in the media shows responsible sexual behavior or gives correct information. Your teen needs a reliable, honest source to turn to for answers—the best source is you. You may feel uneasy talking with your teen about sex, but your guidance is important. Beyond the basic facts about sex, your teen needs to hear from you about your family values and beliefs. This needs to be an ongoing discussion and not just one "big talk." This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you talk with your teen about this important and sensitive subject.
Talking With Your Young Child About Sex
Children begin learning about sex and sexuality as soon as they are able to view, listen, and sense the world around them. As
your children grow and develop, they may giggle with friends about "private parts," share "dirty" jokes, and look up taboo words in the dictionary. Their curiosity is natural, and children of all ages have questions. As a parent, you may not feel comfortable talking about sex, or you may not know how to respond to questions about sex. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to offer you guidance on how to talk with your children about sex.
Teaching Good Behavior
CONNECTED KIDS: All children want to be good and please their parents, but they need to learn how. Teach your child right from wrong through words and actions. Praise good behavior in order to reinforce their positive actions. When your children misbehave, have patience and be consistent with the rules and limits you set for your child.
Teen Dating Violence
CONNECTED KIDS: Dating can be very exciting for teenagers, but sometimes romantic relationships can become unhealthy. As a parent, you can help your teenager make good decisions about dating. Make it clear that there is no place for verbal or physical abuse in a healthy and respectful relationship. If your child is dealing with dating violence, they may be hesitant to talk about it. Be careful to show that you are there to help, not judge. If problems continue, look for teen dating violence prevention and intervention programs at your teenager's school or through other community groups.
Teen Suicide and Guns
CONNECTED KIDS: Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death for 13- to 19-year-olds in the United States. Many teens who attempt suicide do so because of a temporary problem, but if a gun is available to a depressed or suicidal individual, the attempt is much more likely to be deadly. Keeping guns away from your teen can help increase their chances for survival if they attempt suicide. Most young survivors of a serious suicide attempt do not later commit suicide, and most are glad they were saved.
Teen Suicide, Mood Disorder, and Depression
Thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. Suicide does not just happen. Studies show that at least 90% of teens
who kill themselves have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem. They may also have problems at school or with friends, or a combination of all these things. Usually they have had problems for some time.
Teens and Anxiety
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Teens are particularly prone to anxiety, which can be triggered by stress in relationships, peer pressure, or body image. They may be easily irritated or have trouble sleeping. Gently talk to your child about the problems that may be causing their anxiety.
Teens and Depression
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Teen depression can have many causes, and symptoms of serious depression may include loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite, or acting out recklessly. Psychological support, and at times medication, are good ways to deal with teen depression.
Television and Your Family
is the most important influence in a child's life, TV is not far behind. TV can inform, entertain, and teach us. However, some of what it teaches may not be what you want your children to learn.
Read on to find out how TV can affect your children and how you can help make TV-watching safe and fun for your family. There
are many ways that TV affects a child's life. When used appropriately, TV can
be a positive tool to help your children learn. Studies show that preschool children who watch educational TV can increase their reading and speaking skills. However, parents should be
aware of the negative effects including the following:
PLAIN LANGUAGE: Temper tantrums can be frustrating for a parent, but they are a normal part of development for toddlers. Parents will not be able to prevent all temper tantrums, but they can learn to deal with them by staying calm, being consistent, and setting boundaries. Other helpful tips, as well as advice on when to talk to your pediatrician are included in this brochure.
Temper Tantrums: A Normal Part of Growing Up
It's hard for young children to hold strong feelings inside. When they feel frustrated or angry, they often cry, scream, or stomp up and down. This is a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are a normal part of your child's development. They usually begin around age 12 to 18 months, get worse between 2 and 3 years, then taper off after that, once children are able to use words to communicate their wants and needs. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand temper tantrums and how best to deal with them. Young children are busy learning about their world. They are eager to take control. However, learning to control temper can be one of the hardest lessons of all. A lot of things can frustrate a child and lead to temper tantrums. For example, your child may
Testing Your Teen for Illicit Drugs: Information for Parents
Despite some bright spots, national statistics on illicit drug use are alarming. More than a third of US high school students have tried an inhalant or illicit drug by the time they are in eighth grade. More than half use an illegal drug by the time they finish high school. Eighty percent of today's high school students have used alcohol.
Thumbs, Fingers, and Pacifiers
Does your baby suck his thumb or use a pacifier? Don't worry, these habits are very common and have a soothing and calming effect. All babies are born with the need to suck. Some infants even suck their thumbs before they are born, and some will do it soon after. Read on to learn more about thumb and finger sucking, and the use of pacifiers. Most children suck their thumbs or fingers at some time in their early life. The only time it might be a concern is if it goes on past 6 to 8 years of age or affects the shape of your child's mouth or teeth.
Tips for Parents of Adolescents
Adolescence is the time between childhood and adulthood when your daughter or son will go through many physical and emotional changes. It begins with puberty which, for girls, usually starts between 8 and 13 years of age,
and for boys, between 10 to 14 years of age. Though these years can be difficult, it can also be a rewarding time watching your teen make the transition into an independent, caring, and responsible adult.
Tobacco: Straight Talk for Teens
Did you know that about 80% of teens in the United States don't smoke? They've made a healthy choice.
One important skill that you will need to teach your child is how to use the toilet. But teaching your child this skill takes time, understanding, and patience. The important thing to remember is that you cannot rush your child; each child learns to use the toilet in his or her own time. The American Academy of Pediatrics has written this publication to help guide you and your child through this important stage. There is no set age at which toilet training should begin. Before children are 12 months of age, they have no control over bladder or bowel movements. While many children start to show signs of being ready between 18 and 24 months of age, some children may not be ready until 30 months or older. This is normal.
Information for Parents About
Almost all children have times when their behavior veers out of control. They may speed about in constant motion, make noise nonstop, refuse to wait their turn, and crash into everything around them. At other times they may drift as if in a daydream, failing to pay attention or finish what they start. However, for some children, these kinds of behaviors are more than an occasional problem. Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have behavior problems that are so frequent and severe that they interfere with their ability to live normal lives.
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs): An Introduction
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of related brain-based disorders that affect a child's behavior, social, and communication skills. They include 3 of 5 disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). These are autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and PDD-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Because most children with ASD will master the early motor skills such as sitting, crawling, and walking on time, delays in social and communication skills may not be as obvious to parents. Looking back, many parents of children with ASD can think of specific examples that suggest something was different, but nothing indicating a serious problem.
Understanding Irritability in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Irritability can be caused by many factors, depending on the age of the child. Irritability and mood swings are normal at any age, but if your child seems to be chronically irritable, consult your pediatrician to determine if there are any underlying conditions.
Understanding the Impact of Media on Children and Teens
In a matter of seconds, most children can mimic a movie or TV character, sing an advertising jingle, or give other examples of what they have learned from media. Sadly, these examples may include naming a popular brand of beer, striking a “sexy” pose, or play fighting. Children only have to put a movie into the VCR, open a magazine, click on a Web site, or watch TV to experience all kinds of messages. It really is that easy. Media offer entertainment, culture, news, sports, and education. They are an important part of our lives and have much to teach. But some of what they teach may not be what we want children to learn.
Using the Home Environment to Manage ADHD
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: ADHD is a common condition among children and is usually approached with medication and a treatment plan. Part of this treatment plan involves simplifying and organizing your home environment. Keep distractions to a minimum and set small, reachable goals for your child.
What About Medicines for ADHD? Questions from Teens Who Have ADHD
Counseling may help you learn how to cope with some issues you may face. And there are things
What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
If your child has a developmental, learning, or behavioral
problem, a Developmental-behavioral pediatricians are medical doctors who
What is ADHD Anyway? Questions from Teens
(ADHD) is a condition of the brain that
What Is ADHD?
PLAIN LANGUAGE: ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) affects a substantial number of children and can be difficult to diagnose, as there are currently no proven medical tests for the disorder. The three prime symptoms of a child with ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While there are no known causes for ADHD and there is currently no cure, there are measures that can be taken to ease your child's bout with this disorder. These include, but are not limited to medicine, behavioral therapy, and working with your child's school in order to provide proper treatment in all environments.
What Is Your One-Year-Old Telling You?
PLAIN LANGUAGE: This handout provides a checklist of normal language development for toddlers between 1 and 2 years of age. Children learn to communicate before they learn to talk and parents should be aware of the phases of language development. Also included is a list of signs, in addition to delayed speech, that may indicate a problem, and resources for seeking help.
What to Do for ADHD
PLAIN LANGUAGE: There is currently no known cure for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A plan for managing ADHD should include medication, behavior therapy, and working with your child's school system. This handout describes these three elements and what parents can do to support their child with ADHD.
Your Child's Growth: Developmental Milestones
Watching a young child grow is a wonderful and unique experience for a parent. Learning to sit up, walk, and talk are some of the major developmental milestones your child will achieve. Although no two children develop at the same rate, they should be able to do certain things at certain ages. This list of milestones by age is a good way to see how your child is doing. Keep in mind that a “No” answer to any of these questions does not mean that there is a problem. However, if you see large differences between your child and what is listed here, talk with your pediatrician.
Your Child's Mental Health: When to Seek Help and Where to Get Help
Have you noticed a recent change in your child's behavior? Is she having trouble getting along with friends? Is he failing school? Is this new behavior affecting your family? If you are concerned, remember that your child's
doctor can help. He or she may also suggest that
your child see a mental health or behavioral specialist. Specialists include child psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, counselors, or pediatric developmental and behavioral specialists. They may be
able to help with evaluation, testing, or treatment. Treatment includes counseling, education, or prescribing medicine. (In this brochure, the term
specialist will be used to refer to doctors and other health care professionals.)
Your Family's Mental Health: 10 Ways to Improve Mood Naturally
The information in this brochure focuses on natural approaches
to helping individuals and families improve mental health through living a healthy lifestyle. It provides tips that can fit every budget. Keep in mind that well-being is affected by genetics, physical health, and the environment, including relationships. Remember that your doctor can help you track your success and suggest ideas that are best for you and your family.